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An Embarrassment of Riches: Tapping Into the World's Greatest Legacy of Wealth (Agora Series) [Hardcover]

Alexander Green
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Book Description

17 Jan 2014 Agora Series (Book 81)
Tune into the news and you’ll hear stories of war, disease, natural disasters, corruption, violence, poverty, crime, nuclear proliferation, terrorism and political dysfunction in Washington.  Polls show many believe the American dream is fading, our children face limited opportunities, and the country is decidedly on the wrong track.  Yet this dour perspective – one recycled 24/7 by the national media – is a gross distortion of the world we live in today.  As national investment expert and bestselling author Alexander Green reveals in this engrossing and provocative new book, the human race has never had it so good.  In the West today, we work shorter hours, have more purchasing power, enjoy goods and services in almost limitless supply, and have more leisure time than ever before.  Living standards are the highest they have ever been. The human life span has nearly doubled over the past hundred years.  Literacy and education levels – even I.Q.’s – are at all–time highs. Technology and medicine are revolutionizing our lives. All forms of pollution – with the exception of greenhouse gases – are in decline.  Access to the arts has never been greater.  Crime is in a long–term cycle of decline.  And the risk of death by violence has never been smaller for most of humanity. By almost every measure, our lives today are wealthy beyond measure.  We are all heir to an embarrassment of riches .  Yet – thanks in large part the drumbeat of negative media coverage – most of us don’t realize it.  Green compares the average citizen to “a lottery winner whose ticket is lost in some upstairs drawer.” The consequences of adopting the cynical but popular worldview are many, including needless pessimism, missed investment opportunities, and – surprisingly – even poorer health. Yet An Embarrassment of Riches provides a powerful antidote.  Green begins with a robust survey of the many ways our lives are becoming longer, easier, safer, healthier and more prosperous.  He then embarks on a wide–ranging exploration of the ideas and the many men and women – both living and dead – that are still enriching our lives today. Among the many subjects explored are American exceptionalism, the extraordinary power of economic freedom, the lifesaving role of medicine and technology, the life–extending benefits of optimism, the radical theology of Thomas Jefferson, the keys to civility and greatness, the wisdom of Confucius and Aristotle, the ability of beauty to enrich our lives, and even one artist’s thought–provoking take on “how to defeat death.” In An Embarrassment of Riches , New York Times bestselling author Alexander Green offers a holistic approach to wealth – and offers a welcome perspective that allows us to live fuller, richer lives. 

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (17 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118608828
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118608821
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.1 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 734,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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From the Inside Flap

Tune into the news and you'll hear stories of war, disease, natural disasters, corruption, violence, poverty, crime, nuclear proliferation, terrorism and political dysfunction in Washington. Polls show many believe the American dream is fading, our children face limited opportunities, and the country is decidedly on the wrong track. Yet this dour perspective—one recycled 24/7 by the national media—is a gross distortion of the world we live in today. As national investment expert and bestselling author Alexander Green reveals in this engrossing and provocative new book, the human race has never had it so good. In the West today, we work shorter hours, have more purchasing power, enjoy goods and services in almost limitless supply, and have more leisure time than ever before. Living standards are the highest they have ever been. The human life span has nearly doubled over the past hundred years. Literacy and education levels—even I.Q.s—are at all-time highs. Technology and medicine are revolutionizing our lives. All forms of pollution—with the exception of greenhouse gases—are in decline. Access to the arts has never been greater. Crime is in a long-term cycle of decline. And the risk of death by violence has never been smaller for most of humanity. By almost every measure, our lives today are wealthy beyond measure. We are all heir to an embarrassment of riches. Yet—thanks in large part to the drumbeat of negative media coverage—most of us don't realize it. Green compares the average citizen to "a lottery winner whose ticket is lost in some upstairs drawer." The consequences of adopting the cynical but popular worldview are many, including needless pessimism, missed investment opportunities, and—surprisingly—even poorer health. Yet An Embarrassment of Riches provides a powerful antidote. Green begins with a robust survey of the many ways our lives are becoming longer, easier, safer, healthier, and more prosperous. He then embarks on a wide-ranging exploration of the ideas and the many men and women—both living and dead—enriching our lives today. Among the many subjects explored are American exceptionalism, the extraordinary power of economic freedom, the lifesaving role of medicine and technology, the life-extending benefits of optimism, the radical theology of Thomas Jefferson, the keys to civility and greatness, the wisdom of Confucius and Aristotle, the ability of beauty to enrich our lives, and even one artist's thought-provoking take on "how to defeat death." In An Embarrassment of Riches , New York Times bestselling author Alexander Green offers a holistic approach to wealth—and offers a welcome perspective that allows us to live fuller, richer lives.

From the Back Cover

Praise for An Embarrassment of Riches "In An Embarrassment of Riches , Alex Green reveals a decidedly different world than the one we get from the 24-hour news cycle. By virtually every measure of human well-being, we are living in the best of times. If you're concerned about the future, this is the case for rational optimism. Enthusiastically recommended." —Joel F. Wade, PhD, author of Mastering Happiness "An unrepentant optimist, Alex Green here counters the emotional but nonfactual arguments of the doomsday pundits. The truth is we've never had it so good—and I believe the uplifting worldview, so eloquently expressed in these pages, will prevail." —Mark Skousen, Editor of Forecasts & Strategies , founder of FreedomFest and bestselling author of Investing in One Lesson , The Big Three in Economics , The Making of Modern Economics and Maxims of Wall Street " An Embarrassment of Riches is a superb collection of essays that looks clearly at the challenge of finding meaning and perspective in our post-modern world. The insights here are not just thought-provoking but deeply inspiring." —Michael Masterson, bestselling author of Automatic Wealth , The Reluctant Entrepreneur and Seven Years to Seven Figures "In An Embarrassment of Riches , Alex Green opens the door to a fuller, better way to think about wealth. Finally, someone is talking not just about quantity but about quality." —Bill Bonner, founder of Agora Publishing and bestselling author of Family Fortunes , The New Empire of Debt and The Idea of America "This book is a beacon. With each page, Alex reminds us—with characteristic insight and wit—that there is much to be thankful for, if we would only open our eyes and see." —Hal Movius, founder and President of Movius Consulting and co-author of Built to Win: Creating a World-Class Negotiating Organization

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It is an excellent summary of everything which is right today anf putting everything negative into perspecctive. Never-the-less there are may problems awaiting action giving everybody a chance to do his thing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  71 reviews
35 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His best book yet....a live romp through history, philosophy, science and life 26 Nov 2013
By Mark Skousen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Alex Green is one of those rare Wall Streeters who branches out beyond the mundane and the material. Green is a financial guru who writes for the Oxford Club and has been beating the market for years (see his one financial book, "The Gone Fishin' Portfolio" -- highly recommended). But I like him even more for his philosophical writings, as revealed in his previous bestsellers, "Beyond Wealth" and "Secret of Shelter Island."

This third book on the good life is undoubtedly his best, and definitely the most upbeat. He even makes the point that optimistic people live better and longer lives. I love his singular chapters on great thinkers and philosophers, such as Galileo, Aristotle, William James, Ben Franklin, Adam Smith, George Washington, Garcia Lorca, Confucius, and Jefferson. The book also highlights current thinkers who are shaping our world, such as Whole Foods's John Mackey, Apple's Steve Jobs, economist Milton Friedman, management guru Steve Covey, and iconoclastic Nassim Taleb. I should add that I was not particularly fond of one of Green's chapters -- "A Requiem for an Atheist," his praise of the stanchly anti-religious Chrisopher Hitchens. Talk about a downer!

All in all, Green's new book is a delightful romp through history, philosophy, science and life -- and the fun thing is that you can start anywhere.
25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recognizing How "Rich" You Really Are 1 Dec 2013
By Dave Fessler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I met Alexander Green about seven years ago on my first trip to the Oxford Club in Baltimore. As we both got to know each other, we found we had similar interests: conversation, music, books, reading, and, of course, writing.

Alex was my mentor during my early years as a financial writer. I couldn’t have asked for a better one.

Alex is a prolific writer. He’s written three New York Times best sellers: The Gone Fishin’ Portfolio, The Secret of Shelter Island and Beyond Wealth.

Alex’s new book, An Embarrassment of Riches, is destined to be his fourth. As with his previous two books, An Embarrassment of Riches can be read in the normal fashion, from front to back. You can also pick it up, turn to any chapter, and just start reading.

The book is divided into three parts: A Wealth of Gratitude, A Wealth of Wisdom and A Wealth of Understanding. Each contains essays that will awaken and inspire you.

There’s no question you will learn something… perhaps even something about yourself you didn’t know. Best of all, it will cause you to think and wonder, and you’ll be a better human being for it. I know I am.

You see, I love being outside, in the woods… on a mountaintop… walking along a deserted beach… or with my fly rod in a mountain stream. Anywhere I can be alone… with my own thoughts. It’s all very personal to me.

Perhaps that’s why I enjoy Alex’s new book, An Embarrassment of Riches so much. It helps me realize how much I already have.

There’s a message in every essay. Perhaps it’s something about a subject we haven’t given much thought to.

Alex’s writing style is articulate, clear and concise. His observations are astute and thought provoking. Alex puts together a message in a few pages that always moves me in some way.

An Embarrassment of Riches belongs on everyone’s bedside table. As it did with me, reading it will surely remind you of how rich your life already is, regardless of your financial status.
23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a pleasant surprise 27 Nov 2013
By Julia Guth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I was curious to see how Alex's new book would be different than his previous good works.

I mean, how many insightful and inspiring ways can one writer share about what it means to be wealthy beyond the material and superficial? For Alex, and fortunately for us, it appears to be a infinite.

Nothing here smacks as redundant to his previous work. Nothing is a platitude or a cliche like other financial planning and personal growth books I've read. Pleasantly, every essay and insight is learned and thoughtful and helpful for those who are considering what it means to gain 'true wealth'.

I love that this book is bite-sized too. It's concise and fast moving, without being fluffy. Really nicely laid out visually. That makes it an unusually appealing, non-scary, non-boring financial book to give to the new graduate in your family. My son is graduating this spring, as well as my nephew. I can't think of a more valuable combination gift to give them: A congratulatory bit of money to help jumpstart their own paths to financial independence, together with this book to help them personally define what that means.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very happy to read this. 8 Dec 2013
By Kenneth Koprich - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Yes, I loved reading this book. It is so upbeat... so optimistic. It is well researched and comprehensive. If you don't know why you should feel richness in your life, this is the book for you. Read and learn. Ok, I do read a lot, and many of the books and information cited are quite familiar to me. However, it is great to have it collected and presented all in summary form in one place. The message needs a barrage of uplifting material to persuade us... to open our eyes in the western world to the fact that even if we don't have a huge amount of money, we are rich is so many other ways compared to our ancestors. No matter what your interest may be, whether it be science, history, philosophy, poetry, music, the universe, nutrition, or life style, I'm sure you will find a suggestion that will give you ideas for further exploration. Thank you Alex Green.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This reading reaffirmed those things I learned at my daddy's ... 6 May 2014
By Paul Tyler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This reading reaffirmed those things I learned at my daddy's knee. Also, it gave me a deeper understanding of what I knew .
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